Easter, Christ Is Risen! Okay… Now What?by Robert Gamble
April 22, 2011
You may see lawn signs that say “Christ is Risen” posted all over the place. I personally take heart in that at least the homes are being influenced by their Churches to put this testimony on their front lawns. However, I grieve in my spirit as I know that for the most part the “Christ is risen” message falls short…way short.
I can fathom the fact that Christ has victory over death, and actually gain comfort that I will see Christ when I die, however, is Christ being risen just for my personal salvation, to give me hope that all is not lost? Is it the last straw of hope that I clutch onto in my life, that at least when I die…I will see Christ again?
In fact this message of Christ just being risen for my personal salvation, and my personal well being after life, makes me NOT want to live, but to seek death. In fact, if I had my choice of world views, I might just head off to the darkest employments, like dousing a Nuclear Reactor in Japan or Russia, so that I could expedite my homeward journey to heaven.
I even hear the message, “despair not Christ is coming soon.” As if Christ is going to come and jettison my existence into the heavenly bliss, and quickly…after all the Bible says “Lord Jesus…come quickly.”
If you are getting a little uptight, a little squeamish in your seat right now,
and are just about to jettison this article…you might want to hear the rest of the story….
What you are seeing above, is a despair of the world, a truncated and non-productive gospel message. The reason why, is it is just plain wrong.
This begs the question “Why is Christ Risen?”
If you were to step into job interview, you would certainly want some good credentials. The best information about you, your work ethic, your skills and so forth are all on the line at the interview. The poking and prodding questions raised by the interviewer really fill the following categories:
-What have you built?
-What have you sustained?
-What have you defended?
If you can fill in all the blanks with honest customer satisfaction, success stories, tragedies turned bright…you have the job. The would be boss is looking for assurance that he can build on you, and the interview process is the down payment if you will on the job you might get…
The whole concept of Christ coming, and living amoung men, being “despised and rejected of men..” going through the “satanic test in the desert”, performing miracles, dying on the cross and then rising from the dead, all point to a fantastic person.
That in of itself is an empty picture, because we know that Christ was much, much more than just a self denying, miracle working person. There are plenty of those in this world. (Jose Arigo, for example…look him up)
Christ Rising from the dead, however, points to a critical element of Christ.
He alone has the power of death, to administer it, and to deny its effects. Christ has the Credentials if you will to empower and de-power life for everyone, and all things. Christ rising from the death is the ultimate credentialing of Christ to get the Top Job, called the King of Kings, Lord of Lords.
Let that sink in.
We all believe we are going to die, in fact we all know we are going to die. The question should be in our heads “Why? Why do we die?”
We die, because of a judgment placed upon all mankind “The soul that sins, it shall die.” Again, that’s begs the question “Why is sin so heinous that it requires death?”
We all know of the Pigmy who lives in squander, filth, disease and unhappiness. The society of the pagan is utter unhappiness. This utter unhappiness is from sin, from the lack of the Gospel message to clean up their lives. Not just on a personal level, but from a personal level to a societal level. Man without Christ is in darkness. The only way to stop the darkness, it to put it to death. That is why men die, to stop the perpetual propagation of darkness for eternity.
Death also reminds us of the cost that sin brings to life.
Those that respect death, and understand the judgement contained are given typically a longer life so they can propogate the gospel, the good news to a build lives, build Christian families, Christian societies of order and peace.
The “Christ is Risen Message” shows that Christ has the power to withhold death and actually reverse the death ethic. More specifically, men think they have the power of Death to clobber us men into submission.
How many movies today are founded on the premise of some arch-enemy who holds hostages at bay to leverage the whole story plot. As usual, we all know the arch-enemy will be destroyed and the good guys will win. We are used to the idea that the bad guys hold the guns, and they hold them to make us move in the direction they want…either in a closet, or into silence.
The reality today is that the bad guys use the bad message of “Christ is just for you personally” to force us into a closet, bound and gagged. We all are looking for Christ to come and take the duct tape off of our mouths…but I wonder what would we yell? Who would listen?
Bottom line is that Christ has been given power by God.
Power over all. Power over the evil. Power over their death sentences. Power over their fear tactics. As Paul says “If God be for us, who can be against us?”
That is kind of a peculiar statement. It sounds like Paul is saying “Even though the wicked may kill you, you aren’t dead you still live in the earth.” Christ says it another way “Blessed are they that are persecuted for my names sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Lest we forget the Kingdom of God is on Earth, as Christ says “Thy Kingdom Come, thy will be done, on Earth…as it is already done in Heaven.” We are to build a Heavenly Kingdom here on earth, which includes persons, families, civil institutions, businesses and Churches. (Notice…it is not just Churches….)
The power of Christ’s resurrection is in the power of Christ to first of all make us joint Heirs with him
. A justified faith means that Christ has the power to work through us as righteousness in the earth. We are proclaimed “Righteous” in the Father’s eyes. That means no sanction is being fired our way. The sanction is taken by Christ. (Again lest we think we are impervious to death, or curse, Christ is now our care-keeper, and dishes out measured curse and chastisement in our direction to keep us in check, and truly humble and thankful.)
Being joint Heirs with Christ, we are to establish a kingdom in our personal lives, our families, our Churches, our businesses, and our Civilization. Trouble is, doing the last thing on the list invariably is the toughest, hardest, and courage sapping job to get done. Because ultimately it could mean death to us personally, our family, our Church, and our business. To tangle with the State is to tangle with the Devil.
Death is a powerful motivator.
To the non-Christian into slavery, but to the Christian to get working. Death is used by Satan to stop work, where Christ can use it to multiply work. Christ uses the fear of death as timer going off, and the game is over; the “game” being a real existence of working at rolling back Sin by the Gospel message.
Christ has the power to stay death, and the hand of the wicked. Christ has the power to stop a wicked judge from breathing decrees of death our way. Even if they do breath a death sentence our way…it still is used by Christ to further His kingdom deeper.
The resurrection secondly, is a picture of what Christ will do to all the earth.
He has earned the “right” to head up this “Cleaning Project.” Again we might be confused and think that Christ is going to come and manhandle this whole mess into submission. Much like Christ’s disciples saying “Call fire down from heaven and consume them Lord,” Christ’s response was “You do not understand the Kingdom, that is wickedness.”
Christ is not going to come and manhandle life for us,
that defeats the whole purpose for existence. People complain about the Soveriengty of God saying we are robots, when they espouse a religion of “non-performance” or “packaged-robot-like” deliverance from evil.
Obviously we are not robots, else we would not need death to motivate us. That leads us to the third (and there are many others) purpose for the resurrection. It is a promise, a promise of a world being cleaned up, a promise that the Sabbath Picture will be fulfilled. A promise, that the promise will be fulfilled. The Holy Spirit is the down payment on the promise. He is the strength that we are given to build, to stop the mouths of lions, to stand before kings, to wrestle with kings and judges, legislatures.
We are made to go through the shadow of death, being very close to it, so that we trust like the blind man, that what before us is a next sure step. We trust that our next step will not be our destruction, but a building of Christ’s Kingdom. We may be consumed, but even in our deaths our lives were building something.
The power of the resurrection is the empowerment
to “wrestle with principalities, powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places” and prevail.
Christ has a peculiar way of putting it to the Pharisees about His resurrection:
Mat 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
Mat 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Mat 12:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation,
and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.
We rightly have appropriated the sign of Christ rising on the Third day, but invariably, dare I say completely miss the second half of the message regarding Nineveh,
a dead and corrupt civilization that repented from the King on the thrown to the beggar in the street.
The second sign (or significance of the resurrection) is a massive repenting,
a massive clean up. A world changed.
If we reflect in the power of the resurrection, and examine History from the time of Christ till now, we see a dramatically changed world. We crawled along with horses, oxen, wooden wheels and accelerated dramatically to the speed of sound and rockets in space. The critical leaps from “Darkness”, or as Historians put is from the “Dark Ages” to the Modern Era, occurred during the Reformation.
There were huge leaps in wealth, mathematics, astronomy and technology during the reformation era of the 1400’s and 1500’s that built the modern industrial age we live in. And spearheading it all was the wrestling with Kings and dramatic changes in Governmental structure. Instead of being a top down (Monarchical) system, the powers were spread, the governmental prerogatives bound releasing a New Era of Freedom, Justice and Entrepreneurialism.
Christ was at the Heart of the Reformation.
A dead Church stuck in backwards Top Down Godless/Lawless thinking was reformed, and started anew in what we would call the Puritan Movement. A birthing of righteousness erupted and changed the world in less than 500 years.
The Power of the Resurrection is the Reformation of the whole world. Christ has all power, if we would just use it.
That is the key: “Use it.”
The power is resident in the Church, who is to teach the Laws of God and how to run your personal life, your family, your business, your civilization. The Church but needs to “resurrect”, wake up, and pick up the tool box called the Law of God and she can begin a livened work of righteousness in the earth.
- We may lament the Judge i
n the court acting as God, but are we hearing a game plan in our pulpits to Bind These Kings with Chains? (Psalm 149)
- There are beggars in the streets
“Are we putting together a system of helps that gets the person working again and out of debt?”
- There are legislatures’
who are being harassed by Union Thugs: are we standing with them to rally by them. Is our Church in the midst teaching us how to confront Thugs effectively?!
- The money has gone to rot,
are we watching our neighbors get consumed by the “false debt.” Or are we being taught in our pulpits how to confront wicked money and wicked judges who promulgate bribery and theft?
Funny, how you may be repugnated by the evils put before you, but I wonder are you repugnated by the evil of silence in your pulpit? Remember as Peter put it “If you know to do good and do it not, it is sin.” To stay in a rotting Church is sin.
As Christ put it, if they will not hear the message, shake the dust off your feet and go to the next town. Many, many Churches are dead today, and need the real power of the resurrection in them.
As you can see, it is a great sorrow to see
“Christ is risen” in the front yard, while a state legislature (civil magistrate) is cast out of the same Church for standing in the face of evil.
Me thinks the Church has cast out the risen Christ and wants nothing of Him. “They have a form of Godliness, but deny the power thereof.”
God help this nation, as we nose dive into Judgment that is rightly due us. As the Psalmist says:
Psa 130:1 Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.
Psa 130:2 Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.
Psa 130:3 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?
Psa 130:4 But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.
Psa 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
I hope in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ that this world will be changed,
like Ninevah. My Risen Lord stands by my side staying the Evil, while planting His kingdom in this Earth starting with my personal life, my family, my Church, my business and my Community or Civil Government about me.
I may be one person,
but my hope is to have an impact upon the very roots of Civilization that will change people toward Christ, people I don’t even know. My hope for my wakening moment in Heaven before Christ is “Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into my eternal rest.”
Question is “What have I been good and faithful at?”
- Clinging to a faith to be jettisoned to heaven?
- Actively participating in the Kingdom of God on Earth by Christ’s merits alone?
If you would like to learn more about he Resurrection, go to http://www.solomonstoolbox.com/socialcapital.php
and read, about the Kingdom of God and what you can be doing about it.
Robert Gamble is a Deacon for Reformation Hope Church
located in Hartford Wisconsin.